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Title: Opportunities and Constraints for Black Farming in a Former South African Homeland: A Case Study of the Mooi River Irrigation Scheme, Msinga, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Authors: SATO, Chizuko
Keywords: Black farming
Irrigation scheme
Farmer diversity
Issue Date: Jun-2018
Publisher: The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
Journal title: African study monographs. Supplementary issue.
Volume: 57
Start page: 147
End page: 174
Abstract: The creation of a viable black farming sector has been one of the greatest challenges facing post-apartheid South Africa. While land reform was expected to become a cornerstone in achieving this, there is a growing consensus that it has not yet contributed to the emergence of viable black farmers. In this context, this study proposes the necessity of looking elsewhere and re-examining the current state and performance of black farmers in former homelands. Drawing on interviews with farmers who engage in crop farming at the Mooi River Irrigation Scheme in the Msinga district of KwaZulu-Natal, this study explores the opportunities and constraints for small-scale black farming. Irrigation schemes could stand out as exceptions to the general picture of former homelands which were largely equated with labour reserves for white business interests and consequent de-agrarianisation. This study has identified the availability of water and various informal markets as opportunities for small-scale black farmers to pursue agricultural livelihoods. However, there is differentiation among smallholders, not only in terms of the size of land and production, but also with regard to gender and generation. A number of constraints have also been recognized including shortage of labour, high production costs (especially hiring tractor services for land preparation), lack of or unreliable state support, and the increasing shortage of water.
Rights: Copyright by The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University, June 1, 2018.
DOI: 10.14989/233012
Appears in Collections:57(Land, Agriculture and Unfinished Decolonization in Africa: Essays in Honour of Sam Moyo)

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